Run to the Battle

Optimax has spent the last several years focusing on building an educated workforce and carving out a path for success in advanced manufacturing of optics. A few of the processes adopted along the way include lean manufacturing, the Toyota Way, and the newest initiative to become ISO 9000 certified. As one of the largest optics manufacturers in the USA, Optimax continues to adapt to meet emerging market demands. At Optimax the key to success is based on the culture of collaboration and innovation.Recently one of the founding fathers of the company and master optician, Kevin Bartlett, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer. This is one of the biggest challenges that the Optimax workforce has had to face. Several of his co-workers took this potentially crushing news and used it as a driver to organize a benefit in this man’s honor. After an overwhelming response nearly $30,000 was raised in just two weeks, as well as donated raffle prizes. The close-knit culture of a small business is much like that of a tightly-knit family; you’ve got each other’s backs. Trust is built through open communication between all levels of employees. Formal and informal forums have been established to share knowledge that applies to the job. Employees are empowered to learn about the business beyond their own experience and are empowered to make informed decisions. There are as many different theories/best practices for running a business as there are on living your life. You learn what works by trying different approaches and seeing what sticks. Different combinations of discipline and freedom have been tested, and for Optimax, an open culture of personal accountability works best.Kevin’s mantra has always been ‘Run to the battle’ – he has been a driving force at Optimax. Our folks love a challenge, but this is out of our hands. Our prayers go out to Kevin and his family.

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